I’m so excited to have Alexandra, from My Urban Family, here on the blog today. She’s talking about holiday traditions today, and how we can make them work for our families as they change. Even though they are holiday traditions, it doesn’t mean they don’t need a little updating every once in a while.
Tweaking My Favorite Holiday Traditions
Every family has their own set of family traditions for the holidays. And after years of upholding those traditions, changes can be a little rough. But with kids growing older and eventually getting married and starting a family of their own, traditions need to bend a bit. Or sometimes change all together.
My husband and I have been celebrating holidays with each other’s families for a good number of years now, so some of the shifting has already happened. But with talks of starting our own family in the hopefully near future, we have been focusing this year on which traditions we would like to keep, adjust, or throw out all together by the time we have kids.
Here is what we have come up with so far:
Traditions to Keep
Our family schedule
Driving around to see holiday lights
This one has fallen to the side slightly now that there are no more children in the family, but each year I try to bring it back a bit. It’s still so fun to me and once we had kids I plan on making it a yearly event.
Traditions to Tweak
Tons and tons of tangible gifts
Don’t get me wrong, we really love exchanging gifts. But we also really enjoy going out and experiencing the world around us, especially with our loved ones. And do we really need to give our kids mass piles of toys each December? Definitely not. And we don’t need many things either.
We’ve already started to adjust this tradition on both sides of our family. We’ve been trying to exchange smaller items, and then pick an experience or two for everyone to enjoy together. Last year we decided on a play.
Making a Gingerbread House
Last year we started to tweak this tradition, and I loved it so much I’m going to try to move this change forward. What did we do? We bought two gingerbread house kits, plus a bunch of extra candy, and created our home, including little gingerbread people who were us. It was so funny to have it as our centerpiece on the table and see who started to notice first.
Traditions to Get Rid Of
Maybe we missed something, but for many years Christmas dinner always seemed to be Thanksgiving dinner over again. But why? This tradition is getting thrown out the window. We haven’t hosted Christmas yet, but when we do, we plan on being more creative with our menu. If we can serve Chinese food for Thanksgiving (yes, we did this one year…), then we can really mix things up for Christmas.
I know, I know. Bah humbug, right? But honestly, during the holidays I don’t have time to bake 50+ cookies and I don’t really need to take home 50 either. Yes, they are always delicious, but this tradition is not nice to my free time or my waistline.
While I’m sure our traditions will continue to grow and change along with our family, this is our start. Do you have favorite holiday traditions that you can’t wait to continue? Or perhaps, ones you are looking to discard as well? I’d love to hear about them!
Alexandra is a writer, graphic designer and photographer currently living in the suburbs of Chicago. Along with her husband, she is embarking on a journey of downsizing, moving into the heart of the city, and starting a family. Her blog, My Urban Family is a mix of her adventures, experiences, life advice, Chicago themed posts, and family friendly topics. You can also follow her on Facebook // Twitter //Pinterest // Instagram // Bloglovin!